With Russia and Ukraine deadlocked in the Donbass region, could it be that each is actually fighting the wrong war?
This counterintuitive-but-compelling finding emerged from a two-week crowdsourced simulation run by Wikistrat in February and March. Almost seventy analysts from a variety of fields and backgrounds brainstormed potential scenarios for how Ukraine could develop over the next five years.
In the report released today, Wikistrat Senior Analyst and New York University Professor Mark Galeotti argues that Russia ought to be working a lot harder to maintain the unity of Ukraine while Kiev would actually be better served by cutting away so-called “Novorossiya”. The freezing of the conflict would be a devastating blow to the identity of the “new” Ukraine, but it offers perverse advantages.
The rump Ukraine that remains could gain a new cohesion through the shared experience of struggle, while the West — eager to teach Moscow a lesson — would both require and support the often-painful processes of political and economic reform the country so desperately needs.
Russia, by contrast, already suffering a serious economic crisis unlikely to soon resolve itself, would be forced to continue to arm, guard, feed and support its puppet fiefdom. Its interests are actually better served by forcing the rebellious regions back into Ukraine, like a rusty nail to poison the country’s bloodstream. Read More →